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Colorado utility wants to offer customers solar power at a premium

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According to an April 4, 2014 story on KUNC, a public radio station in Northern Colorado, Xcel, a local utility, is asking Colorado state regulators for permission to offer its customers the option to receive some of all of their electricity from a centralized solar power plant. The catch is that those who opt for solar over more conventional forms of energy production will have to pay a surcharge for the privilege. Customers would be able to buy solar created electricity in 25 percent blocks to up to 100 percent of their monthly electric bill. Thus customers can go solar without installing solar panels on their rooftops.

Apparently there are a number of residential and business customers who will pay a premium to get their electricity from renewable energy sources. Xcel already has a wind power program called WindSource which charges an extra $2.16 per 100 kilowatt hour. The program has 36,000 customers.

The new program, to be called SolarConnect, will start in 2015 pending approval by state regulators. The amount of the surcharge is yet to be determined.

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